Carbs Plus Stress Increases Estrogen

If you are a person who wants to attain a leaner, more define physique, than you need to take action to lower cortisol levels and lower your carbohydrate consumption.

                     … And here is why 

There was a fascinating study performed by researchers from the University of Birmingham that examined Glucocorticoid (cortisol) & insulin regulation and how it affects aromatase activity in human adipose tissue, revealing different outcomes in men and women.

In this study, researchers wanted to examine insulin & cortisol’s role in potentiating aromatase activity in men and women by taking samples of subcutaneous and omental (visceral) adipose tissue for rigorous testing.

The research candidates were premenopausal women (7) and postmenopausal women (10) and 9 men.  The researchers found that the male candidate’s basal aromatase activity was significantly higher in the subcutaneous tissues opposed to omental (visceral) tissue with cortisol + insulin present. Insulin appeared to exacerbate cortisol’s effect in promoting aromatase activity.

The female test subjects had similar results as the males, but even more aromatase activity with insulin + cortisol present. This small piece of the study reveals that subcutaneous adipose tissue has a much greater affinity for aromatase activity than omental (visceral) fat in both genders.

When they examined the differences between pre & postmenopausal women and their reaction to insulin + cortisol the results revealed that postmenopausal women had high aromatase in the omental (visceral) tissues than premenopausal women. However both pre & postmenopausal women revealed the same response to aromatase activity in the subcutaneous tissues.

Sex steroids such as Dhea, Androstenedione, Estrone, Testosterone etc… may regulate adipose mass by increasing preadipocyte proliferation, differentiation, and adipocyte size through effects on lipolysis (fat-loss) and lipogenesis (fat accrural).

Insulin plays a crucial role in adipocyte proliferation and differentiation, however in this study, insulin ALONE has no effect on aromatase expression, whereas insulin + cortisol demonstrated an additive effect on aromatase activity.

You know what that means for most people who utilize high carbohydrate diet’s to either keep dietary fat low or to gain weight?

It means that relatively high doses of insulin (think dextrose & white rice) in combination with cortisol (think low blood sugar from spiked insulin) increases aromatase activity, which promotes estrogen levels in excess.

This is extremely undesirable for favorable body composition as this phenomenon will promote proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes, enhancing central adiposity (fat mass accrural).

  Now what you should do

I hope after reading this article you recognize that ingesting copious amounts of carbohydrates in your plight for ultimate muscle mass or general health (because you still abide by the USDA outdated food pyramid which is simply asinine) you understand that manipulating your insulin and cortisol levels through meticulous nutrition planning will be in your best interests.

I am NOT telling you to switch to an Atkins or Ketogenic Diet by any means, simply just to pay attention to your carbohydrate choices (high glycemic VS low glycemic) and also your glycemic loads (grams of carbs per meal). If you absolutely insist you MUST incorporate carbohydrates around the clock with each meal, make sure to keep the gram allotment low, at around 20-30 grams per meal, as this keeps the glycemic load under control. Also, employ high glycemic carbs ONLY around your weight training or high activity event. The remainder of your carbs (if you insist you need them) should be low glycemic.

I would suggest you to just use carbohydrates INFREQUENTLY, meaning pre & post training, while the rest of your meals consist of top quality protein sources and raw, undenatured fats.

Incorporating a supplement that increases growth hormone production while lowering the stress hormone cortisol would be beneficial for those striving to get as lean as possible while dieting for fat-loss or gaining mass while keeping body fat lower.

Look no further than Primordial’s EndoAmp Max, which will do just that – Increase GH & lower cortisol, while enhancing mental acuity and focus.

  Helpful tips to lower cortisol & insulin –

  • Deep tissue massages will relax your muscles and mind, which will lower cortisol

  • Keeping the glycemic load small at each carbohydrate meal will keep insulin stable

  • Sleeping in a silent pitch black room will initiate high quality sleep for lowering cortisol and boosting GH release

  • Combining essential fats to each low glycemic load meal will further lower insulin release

  • Supplementing with adaptogenic herbs such as magnolia bark & rhodiola lower cortisol

  • Incorporating fiber into each meal will keep insulin levels low

  • Supplementing with Primordial Performance EndoAmp will boost GH & lower cortisol


References:  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar;87(3):1327-36.  Glucocorticoid regulation of p450 aromatase activity in human adipose tissue: gender and site differences.  McTernan PG, Anderson LA, Anwar AJ, Eggo MC, Crocker J, Barnett AH, Stewart PM, Kumar S.


The best muscle building protein drink available

After siphoning through several research papers and experimenting with numerous protein formula’s I found the answer…

 “What is the best protein drink for gaining muscle?”

I will briefly go over the common protein powder sources that are highly available and readily used by most health and fitness enthusiast. I WILL NOT expand too much on each type of protein as this article isn’t a long winded “fact sheet.”

Most people involved in the health/fitness and Bodybuilding industry are all too familiar with whey protein, namely whey protein concentrate (WPC) & whey protein isolate (WPI). Both of these whey proteins are considered “fast digesting” and have a high biological value (91). WPI & WPC are typically used pre & post training or anytime someone needs a fast and efficient protein source in their body.

Also highly sought after are the “slower digesting proteins” such as calcium caseinate and micellar casein, with a slightly lower biological value than WPI &WPC (77). These milk proteins are highly regarded as “night time” protein for their slow and steady amino acid delivery.

Recently, peptide based proteins have generated a lot of buzz due to their potential to be rapidly taken up into the blood stream, virtually by-passing the digestion process.Whey protein hydrolysate and casein hydrolysate (PeptoPro) are the 2 proteins that fall into this category. These hydrolyzed versions of whey and casein contain fragments of protein chains composed of 2-3 amino acids (di, tri & oligo) which are instantaneously absorbed and elevate blood
amino acid levels sky high.

A recent study compared both whey and casein and their effects on muscle protein synthesis (MPS) following resistance training.

The study used 17 healthy, young males as test subjects. They were devoid of medical ailments and were all in great physical condition. The subjects were randomized to participate in either 2 protein trials in randomized order or one control trial. protein trial group, 9 men and control trial group, 8 men.

The subjects came into the test facility all in a fasted state and underwent heavy resistance training consisting of 10 sets of 8 repetitions at a predetermined load corresponding to 80% of 1RM.

Post exercise, (within 5 minutes) the participants consumed either water, casein or whey protein.

The amount of protein ingested was 20 grams dissolved into 400 ml of water.

Some cool observations were notated –

Researchers found that whey protein –

  • Spiked IGF-1 concentrations instantly and peaked at 30  minutes
  • Spiked insulin concentrations from 15 – 60 minutes
  • Elicited a Stronger myofibrillar FSR increase immediately post exercise
  • Induces a stronger protein synthesis response in the early post workout period compared to casein

Researchers found that casein protein

  • Did not have profound effects on insulin release
  • Elevated myofibrillar FSR steadily over 6h period opposed to whey
  • Had better anti-catabolic effects than whey protein

On a side note:

The same study did touch base on some fascinating information regarding micellar casein and whey & casein hydrolysates.

Whey hydrolysate elicited an even greater initial spike in muscle protein synthesis FSR than regular whey.

Micellar casein elicited an even slower and longer lasting muscle protein synthesis FSR compared to regular casein.

The very slow micellar casein and the very fast casein hydrolysate (PeptoPro) results in SIMILAR muscle protein synthesis response in the 6h postprandial period, with the casein hydrolysate having the largest MPS response in the early stages.

The conclusion of the study was obvious in the fact that whey initially
spiked MPS immediately and then quickly plummeted downward after the initial spike,
casein spiked MPS more moderately with a more prolonged elevation as time
passed. Immediate intake of whey and casein following heavy resistance training
in young men results in SIMILAR MPS response over the subsequent 6-h recovery

Now – Back to the question of “What is the best protein drink for gaining muscle?”

From my research and personal, empirical experience I believe it is in one’s best interest to utilize a protein supplement that contains a ratio of 50% cold-filtered whey protein isolate & 35% micellar casein or Australian caseinate, and 15% hydrolyzed whey peptides.

Combining both FAST and SLOW assimilating, high quality protein sources have yielded the best results for not only me, but clients as well. You get the benefit of initial high blood amino acid levels and insulinogenic response from whey protein isolate & hydrolyzed whey peptides, then the micellar casein or Australian caseinate sustains blood amino acid levels for up to 7 hours, which elicits an anti-catabolic effect.

Australian Casein Benefits
  • Superior Amino Acid Profile compared to regular casein
  • Higher Glutamine Content compared to regular casein
  • 4.5% Higher Protein Content compared to regular casein
  • Superior Solubility compared to regular casein (mix with a spoon)

I also find it advantageous to consume casein hydrolysate (PeptoPro) DURING your training session to keep blood amino acid levels elevated while not disrupting your gastro-intestinal tract, due to peptide proteins being pre-digested.


1.    Calbet JA, Holst JJ. Gastric emptying, gastric secretion and enterogastrone response after administration of milk proteins or their peptide hydrolysates in humans. Eur J Nutr. 2004 Jun;43(3):127-39. Epub 2004 Jan 6.

2.    Koopman R, Crombach N, Gijsen AP, Walrand S, Fauquant J, Kies AK, Lemosquet S, Saris WH, Boirie Y, van Loon LJ. Ingestion of a protein hydrolysate is accompanied by an accelerated in vivo digestion and absorption rate when compared with its intact protein. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):106-15. Epub 2009 May 27.

3.    Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol. 2009 Sep;107(3):987-92. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

4.     Paul J. Cribb; Andrew D. Williams; Michael F. Carey; Alan Hayes Full Article Table of Contents for Vol. 16, Iss. 5 The Effect of Whey Isolate and Resistance Training on Strength, Body Composition, and Plasma Glutamine.  IJSNEM, 16(5), October 2006, Copyright © 2006

5.     Beelen M, Koopman R, Gijsen AP, Vandereyt H, Kies AK, Kuipers H, Saris WH, van Loon LJ. Protein coingestion stimulates muscle protein synthesis during resistance-type exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jul;295(1):E70-7. Epub 2008 Apr 22.


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